American Cherry Pie

It is Cherry season! We love them in our house so when a friend asked me to come round to help picking, I didn’t wait to be asked twice! The eating is well worth the effort…. I knew the moment my older son saw them, he would ask for an “American style” cherry pie: I have only ever made them out of a “packet”, I had to figure out my own version….

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Cherry filling: I made it the day before as we return from picking….

  • About 2 cups of pitted cherries, 500g
  • 100 sugar ( I used my vanilla infused)
  • 8tsp cornstarch
  • 1tsp vanilla extract + 1tbsp lemon juice
  1. Place the cherries, sugar and cornstarch in a pan and allow to stand for 10mn until the sugar draws out the juice from the fruit                                   021
  2. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then lower the heat, simmering for 1mn
  3. Remove from the pan and stir in the vanilla extract and lemon juice (as sour as you prefer)
  4. Allow to cool to lukewarm if used on the day. I covered mine and left it at room temperature

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Ingredients:

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry:

  • 250g flour
  • 160g cold butter, diced
  • 50ml milk, at room temperature
  • 3g salt
  • 15g vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg yolk

Biscuit topping:

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g butter, diced
  • 60g sugar
  • 1tsp ground vanilla
  • 70ml milk + extra for glazing

Preparation:

Basically, I was having a food processor day, so much easier!

Pastry:

  • At a low speed, mix the flour, butter, sugar and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add the milk and yolk and mix a few seconds until it has an even consistency
  • Rest in the fridge for at least an hour
  • Grease or line a 26cm/10″ pie tin (mine is loose bottom) and preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4
  • Roll the pastry out and transfer to tin ( I had too much so froze 1/3)
  • Bake blind for 20 to 30mn

Biscuit:

  • Once the pastry is out of the oven, turn it up to 200/180
  • At low speed, mix the flour, ground vanilla and butter together until it makes fine breadcrumbs
  • Add sugar and the milk and mix to form a soft dough

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  • Roll it out roughly
  • Spread the cherry mixture into the pastry case

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  • Top with the biscuit dough, make some cuts for venting and glaze with milk

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  • Bake in the oven for 45mn but do check after 30mn as you might need to cove your biscuit with foil once it’s golden

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  • Leave to cool for 5mn before turning out onto a wire rack. Eat warm or cold!

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Le Gâteau Magique à la Vanille de Madagascar

The Magic Cake…. I saw the word magic and of course couldn’t contain myself! Within 24hrs I was savouring the magic and it is a perfect summer’s cake: best served straight from the fridge. How did it get its name? when you slice it, it presents 3 distinct layers: flan at the bottom, custard like in the middle and a sponge at the top. all that from one batter.016

There are a few golden rules to follow for a perfect result which will wow friends and family!

  1. Pan size: ideally no bigger than 22cm {my batter quantity matches that size} too big, the layers will be too thin and too small, you might lose out on the egg whites addition and the sponge will be too thin
  2. Folding in the egg whites: the mix at that stage is very liquid, use a whisk and by hand, incorporate them slowly, breaking them slightly but you must be left with some lumps floating
  3. Baking time: it is what it is but ovens vary. At the end of the baking, the cake must still be slightly wobbly and golden. And yes, it can be done in a fan oven!
  4. Once out, LEAVE IT! to cool down. It will deflate. Once cool enough, again leave it in the pan, refrigerate for a minimum of 2hrs. After that time, it can be turned out
  5. Some flavours might require more time in the fridge…. so it can’t be done last minute!

Ingredients:

  • 500ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod ( straight from Madagascar, thanks to my good friend Caroline)
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 100g caster sugar (mine has vanilla pods infusing it)
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 115g plain flour
  • 1 pinch of salt

Preparation:

  • Scrape the seeds from the pod and add it to the milk with the pod
  • Heat up the milk, without boiling it, then remove from heat and set aside for an hour for the vanilla to infuse it completely

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  • Preheat oven at 150º/ fan 140º
  • Ideally, use a standing mixer. Cream the yolks and sugar together with the water until light and fluffy
  • Add the melted butter and flour and beat for a good 3mn

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  • Take the pod out of the milk and pour it slowly, beating at low speed

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  • Leave aside at room temperature
  • Whisk the egg whites up with a pinch of salt until they are stiff
  • Incorporate to the liquid batter, slowly. you must be left with a lumpy mixture

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  • Grease a pan and dust with flour. It can’t be springform or loose bottom: best is actually the dreaded silicon
  • Bake for 50 to 55mn: test for a slight wobble
  • Leave on a wire rack to cool then refrigerate for at least 2hrs for the magic to happen

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♥♥♥ How about coffee flavoured? Already tried and tasted!

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  • Same ingredients but instead of the vanilla pod, infuse the milk with 20g of good espresso powder

Browkies

Its name gives it away: part Brownies, part Cookies…. I first saw it on a Kids TV channel, in France, but it never gave the recipe. Quick search on Google revealed that it wasn’t an American invention as I thought but completely French. The Brownie side had to be experimented on so it was baked to perfection at the same time as the Cookie topping. Here goes!

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Ingredients:

Brownie:

  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g flour
  • 75g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • chopped nuts {optional}

Cookie:

*Follow recipe https://farandoleofcakes.com/2015/05/21/simply-perfect-chocolate-chip-cookie/

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C/ 160°fan/ Gas 4 and prepare a baking pan 30cm×20cm / 12″x8″

For the Brownie:

  1. melt the chocolate and butter together
  2. Add eggs, one at a time
  3. Add sugar then flour
  4. Pour into your prepared pan and set aside. You can, if used, sprinkle the top with the chopped nuts

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  • Prepare the cookie dough and drop spoonfuls on top of the brownie mix: I used my trusted ice cream scoop, it makes it easier to spread it as the bottom mix isn’t thick

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031  it is up to you how thick or thin you want the cookie layer

  • Bake for 40 to 50mn until a tester comes out clean

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♦♦♦ One with the Nuts:

BROWKIES